My eyeballs ping from side to side playing pinball with my eye sockets. With my eyelids shut, I know that I have to get to sleep. The morning will break before I know it, and I will be roused by a softly melodic yet vicious alarm that will remind me as it always does that it is 5:45 AM. There is work to be done, I know that, and I cannot wait to do it; actually, I cannot wait to get it done.
The following is an interview I recently did with Featured Artist Matthew Aron Roth. He is a boyhood friend of mine who has found a niche in action sports photography; however, he and I both know that there is not one characterization of him as a photographer. It is a passion of his that has run eternal since I can remember. This is his story.
ANDREW F. CHAPIN. I remember you in middle school walking around, the only one with a camera around his neck. You’ve always been unabashed in your pursuit of that passion. Why is photography such a passion?
MATTHEW ARON ROTH. For me photography is a passion because of the challenges it presents to me. These challenges and obstacle are what drive me to succeed. When things are easy to overcome, for me there’s no reward in accomplishment. That’s where my passion stems from.
Interesting read on Huffington Post about the dilemma teachers face in giving their students minimum essay requirements (See Mark Bemesderfer’s “Quality Over Quantity”).
Writing has always been a passion of mine since I was a young child. Essays, in particular, were always a challenge I welcomed, for I saw them as opportunities to create and support a point that was wholly my own. In my mind, I saw any essay as an argument that I desperately wanted to win. [Read more…]
When I ask my students about what they want to be when they grow up, too often than not the answer revolves around money. There is no consideration of personal fulfillment or goals, only dollars. So many people follow this path and maybe they make money and maybe they don’t, but that’s not the point; my focus is on contentment and the immediacy in the pursuit of success that so many desire but few are willing to work towards.
I am pleased to announce that AFCHAPIN.com is LIVE! Much thanks to Al and Mayapriya @ NewMedia Website Design for working with me TIRELESSLY to put together this site. Literally and figuratively, it does not exist without you guys.
This site will serve two purposes: First and foremost, it will serve as a platform for my writing, which I will update periodically with teasers to books I’m working on (including my forthcoming YA fiction novel Knowing When You’re Too Young To Grow Up), as well as original poetry and short stories. [Read more…]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Carabello Brings Willowbrook to Thornton-Donovan School
New Rochelle, NY. (March 10, 2014) – For 18 years, Bernard Carabello endured depravity only imaginable in death camps – filth-caked floors, feces-smattered walls, and naked, straight-jacketed, soiled children and adults.
The squalor of the Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, NY was not revealed until Geraldo Rivera’s jarring 1972 WABC-TV investigative report that highlighted the destitute conditions of the facility.
On Tuesday, March 11 at 11:00 a.m., Carabello will hold an exercise in empathy with Thornton-Donovan School’s eighth grade English class.
Carabello, who has cerebral palsy, was wrongfully diagnosed as mentally retarded and sent to Willowbrook where he remained until Rivera’s expose. In 1982, he returned with Rivera on WABC-TV’s 20/20 to see the progress made at Willowbrook and Rockland County’s Letchworth Village following 1975 court-mandated changes.
Still the civil rights activist who snuck Rivera into Willowbrook in 1972, Carabello, now 64, champions the cause of the developmentally disabled for New York State OPWDD.
He, along with event facilitator and Thornton-Donovan parent Jennifer Teich, will hold a viewing of the 1982 20/20 follow-up report before leading a discussion on the history of the civil rights movement for people with developmental disabilities and the current state of institutions for the mentally disabled.
The eighth graders initially read about Willowbrook in a May 3, 2000 New York Times article “Recalling a Victory for the Disabled” by Shaila K. Dewan. This piece, along with other secondary sources, was used to introduce Daniel Keyes’s novel Flowers for Algernon with a text-to-life connection.
Carabello, a living piece of history, humanizes the plight of the developmentally disabled, an issue many of the students have never had to consider. On Tuesday, Thornton-Donovan School’s eighth grade will understand not only an incomprehensible struggle but, even more so, just how resilient the human spirit is.
Headmaster, Thornton-Donovan School
Two tragedies recently hit the news, one you couldn’t avoid and another you might have overlooked – the death of the esteemed, transcendent actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and the ensuing investigation to bring the men who sold him the drugs to justice. It’s not so much the arresting as it is the hyper vigilance in tracking down Philip Seymour Hoffman’s heroin dealer that killed him by selling him the drugs. [Read more…]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
John Tartaglio’s ‘Triumph’ over ‘Tragedy’ in Newly Released Book
MILFORD, Conn. (February 6, 2014) – In 24 hours, a rare bacterial infection turned healthy 17-year-old John Tartaglio to a double-leg amputee, but 15 hours and 59 minutes is all that it took for him to reclaim the life that he had left behind.
FROM TRAGEDY TO TRIUMPH, written by Tartaglio and Andrew Chapin, is the uplifting story of a young adult who refused to quit as he tackled a seemingly insurmountable bacterial infection. Told he would never walk again, Tartaglio did what leading health professionals and prosthetic specialists alike said could never be done.
He would go on to compete in 5K and 10K running competitions, as well as triathlons and even a 70.3 mile half ironman, becoming the first bilateral hip disarticulate ever to complete these events. These prepared him for his greatest challenge outside of survival–the New York City Marathon.
As he crossed the finish line of the New York City Marathon, he realized the ultimate culmination of determination. In facing the unknown illness that took his limbs, John transcended his disability, showing the world that “How far you fall does not determine who you are; it’s how hard you work to get back up.”
Tartaglio, a professional motivational speaker, was recently featured on “Where Are They Now?” on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on Friday, January 10. In the coming weeks, he will also be interviewed for the inaugural segment of the “Great Americans” series on Hannity, which airs weekdays on Fox News at 10-11 p.m. ET/PT.
A 2009 graduate of Fairfield University, Tartaglio will be an MBA graduate from the University of Connecticut in 2014. His mission is to inspire people to pursue what they value and, in doing so, allow them to see that they can achieve anything they want.
His co-author Andrew Chapin, a middle school English teacher in New Rochelle, NY, majored in English and graduated from Fairfield University in 2009, recently completed his MSEd in adolescent English education at Iona College. His next project is his coming-of-age novel KNOWING WHEN YOU’RE TOO YOUNG TO GROW UP.
Published on December 30, 2013, FROM TRAGEDY TO TRIUMPH is currently available in paperback and Kindle on amazon.com. For more information, visit amazon.com or query the contact listed below.